MAKING A BEELINE FOR PAPER GIFTS
A shop in Penang takes pride in catering to customers’ needs
MOHAMED BASYIR GEORGE TOWN firstname.lastname@example.org
FAMILIES who want to make paper offerings or gifts to their departed loved ones during the Qing Ming festival will be spoilt for choice based on the numerous shops selling the prayer paraphernalia here.
Eng Ong Heong Trading, located in Jalan Burmah here, is a famous shop that sells a variety of items such as replicas of fast-food meals, gadgets and bungalows.
Denise Ng, 39, said he had been buying paper replicas of material goods for his late mother at the place for the past three years.
“My mum always wanted to live in a bungalow, but it was difficult for her to own one considering the steep prices of houses here.
“The least I could do is to present her with a paper replica of a bungalow with the hope that she would be happy in the afterworld,” he said here yesterday.
Qing Ming, or All Souls Day, falls on April 4 this year.
It is an elaborate family event or a clan feast to commemorate the deceased and ancestors by making offerings at home altars, clan temples or makeshift altars in Buddhist or Taoist temples.
Another customer, who only wanted to be known as Jenny, was spotted buying attire for her late sister at the shop.
Jenny said her late sister loved to wear traditional Baba and Nyonya outfits when she was young.
“The shop offers the outfits at reasonable prices and the quality is good, too, although they are made of paper. That is why I shop here,” she said.
Eng Ong Heong Trading co-owner Angeli Choo said she had a new paper gift every year to attract customers.
“Last year, one of my customers wanted a scarf (similar to the one owned by her late mother) as an offering because her mum loved to wear it.
“Unfortunately, I had to turn down her request.
“It then struck me that I had not seen other shops selling that item. So, I made a special order via my supplier.
“It has been the hottest selling item in the past three weeks.”
Choo said she ordered a few hundreds of the scarf without any expectations that it would be sold out even before the day of the festival.
As of yesterday, only three scarves were left. They are sold between RM18 and RM28 according to the length and colour.
It can be bought together with a Baba and Nyonya paper outfit for RM50 and above, or separately.
Prices of locally made luxury paper items can reach up to RM400 each, while those from China cost more.
Eng Ong Heong Trading co-owner Angeli Choo showing the paper items at her shop in George Town.